I'm thankful we're not in Mumbai.
119 dead and over 300 wounded in a coordinated raid of 10 locations in one city is the horrific toll so far. Does a large terrorist attack gain any notice in the US if it occurs during a US holiday?
I'm thinking definitely not, so this latest rash of violence seems especially pointless. The previously unknown group claiming responsibility for this attack appears to have tried to target Britons and Americans, according to one witness. Though it's hard to see that strategy being carried out very well, what with random shooting at a train station and a restaurant. Most victims are Indians.
I checked in with the news again after we completed our family Thanksgiving dinner, at which I summarized my annual gratefulness with the title of this post. Latest reports say that one luxury hotel has been secured but the standoff continues after 48 hours in other locations. Hostages are still being held; bodies still being found.
I'm musing about a few things after hearing about this. What could be the aim of these crazies? This attack has no retreat plan so it's a one-way ticket to death for the perpetrators. They have some message? Americans on holiday aren't going to be listening so the average citizen will be no more scared today than yesterday. Will Britons or other nationalities be more scared after this? I guess the question really is - is a person more afraid of a random event now than before the attack? I can't see how. I know I'm afraid I'll be hit by lightning or felled by space debris. The likelyhood of any individual being involved in a random act of violence by extremists is probably about the same today as yesterday. Maybe our government will change the alert status at our airports to 'Oranger.' So I think sowing fear as a message by these new terrorists probably didn't work so much either.
Certainly the Indian government could do better with their intelligence agencies in getting advance warning of potential terrorist threats. India borders Pakistan so their level of threat is greater than the US. I'm sure it's difficult to keep track of militant crazies - those you know about.
And what about the idea of the war on terror - does this prove we still need our vague windmill-tilting slogan? I think not. There have always been terrorist groups (didn't we used to call these guerillas?) and will continue to be. It's a matter of how we deal with security issues and follow political policy to defuse situations that could foster terrorists or support/sympathy for terrorists.
When the GWOT was declared by The Deciderer I was still naive enough to have a moment of optimism. Great, I thought, violent Palestinian groups will be labeled as terrorists and we can have a good reason to assist the Israelis and peaceful Palestinians to create safety within a Palestinian state (independent or not) and bring some prosperity to those downtrodden folks. Great, I thought, racist domestic terror groups stockpiling weapons or bombing abortion clinics can be targetted and broken up. Silly me - everyone knows that terrorists are Muslims with brown skin. Any other acts of terrorism are not that, get it?
I'm sad for the folks in Mumbai, India (will I ever get over thinking of it as Bombay?) Too bad they are in the front lines of this insanity right now. I still want to visit someday; I hope you'll find a way to cope with today.ShareThis